Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge: Carlsen crushes Nakamura

Any hope of Hikaru Nakamura making a match of it was soon gone when Magnus Carlsen dominated the third game and won in just 30 moves.

Magnus Carlsen delivered a crushing 3-0 blow to Hikaru Nakamura in their first mini-match of the best-of-three semifinals.   -  FILE PHOTO/ RAJEEV BHATT

 

Contrary to the expectations of a close match, Magnus Carlsen delivered a crushing 3-0 blow to Hikaru Nakamura in their first mini-match of the best-of-three semifinals in the $150,000 Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge on Thursday.

In the other semifinal, Daniil Dubov completed a 2.5-1.5 win over Ding Liren.

Now, Nakamura and Liren face a must-win situation in the second mini-match to force the decider on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Carlsen beat Nakamura in the final of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational. But Nakamura had scored three wins with white against the World champion during their clashes in the competition.

READ| Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge: Carlsen vs Nakamura in semis

But on Thursday, Carlsen gave nothing away. In the first game, where the endgame involved a bishop each and pawns, Carlsen sacrificed his bishop, cleaned up a couple of kingside pawns before moving his attention to the queenside pawns. A hapless Nakamura gave up on the 47th move.

In the second, where Nakamura played white, Carlsen managed to establish the queen-rook pawn on the seventh rank and forced his rival to resign after 41 moves.

Any hope of Nakamura making a match of it was soon gone when Carlsen dominated the third game and won in just 30 moves.

Dubov won the first game but Liren drew parity with an authoritative triumph in the second. After the third game was drawn, Dubov’s lone pawn decided the mini-match in 76 moves.

Semifinal-results (first mini-match): Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 3-0; Daniil Dubov (Rus) bt Ding Liren (Chn) 2.5-1.5.

 

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